Named as a “Top-Ten Century” bike ride by Bicycling Magazine this year for its “jaw-dropping vistas”, the High Sierra Fall Century ride spans Highway 395 from Mammoth Lakes to Highway 120 outside Lee Vining and back around over nearly 100 miles. Ride options for shorter routes were popular too.
The event unfolds the weekend after Labor Day, and this year’s event, the 18th annual, took place September 8. The unique ride features 6000 feet of climbing. 752 participated – a big boost in ridership over recent years. Check out the website at www.fallcentury.org.
On a celebrity note, when basketball legend Bill Walton came to town in July to raise money for Eastern Sierra Land Trust, he spent six days riding his bike throughout Mono and Inyo. He even previewed the High Sierra Fall Century Route with a group of local Eastside Velo Club riders. They said, “He loved it.” Walton only missed the ride because he was inducting Jamaal Wilkes into the Basketball Hall of Fame that weekend. He did do a video endorsement for the ride. You cans see it on their website.
Aside from a heart-pounding, breath-taking experience, the ride supports local charitable organizations like Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, The Mono Lake Committee, Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mammoth High School Boosters and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Organizers did emphasize that they want to “revive the event because it is such a magnificent and challenging ride and also because we know it brings an economic boost to Mammoth and the local area on a shoulder season weekend.” They estimate that the event draws 1,000 or more to Mammoth with dollars for lodging, restaurants and stores.
The group thanked riders, volunteers and businesses, with special thanks to Footloose Sports, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the Town of Mammoth Lakes “who provided tremendous resources without which this event could not happen.”